Actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger attended the Nascar Sprint Cup Series this weekend, and drove a hydrogen-powered vehicle, the 2016 Toyota Mirai, in advance of Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. It was a double premiere: first time for the actor as a Nascar pace car driver, first time a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle was used.
As governor, Schwarzenegger championed and established California’s Hydrogen Highway, the nation’s first network of hydrogen fueling stations. “It will be an honor to lead these fantastic athletes and champions around the raceway, and on top of it, I get to drive a car that is both powerful and green,” he said in a press release earlier this month.
The Toyota Mirai used as pace car is a hydrogen fuel cell car with zero emissions. During the caution period, drivers may not pass the pace car, as driving conditions have been deemed dangerous because of an accident or debris on the track.
The Toyota/Save Mart 350 is a 218.9 miles (352.3 km) Sprint Cup Series event held annually at Sonoma Raceway at Sears Point, in California. It joined the Nascar circuit in 1989, and it went through several changes ever since.